History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Practice

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9781405812542: History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Practice

Why should history students care about theory? What relevance does it have to the "proper" role of the historian?

Historiography and historical theory are often perceived as complex subjects, which many history students find frustrating and difficult. Philosophical approaches, postmodernism, anthropology, feminism or Marxism can seem arcane and abstract and students often struggle to apply these ideas in practice.

Starting from the premise that historical theory and historiography are fascinating and exciting topics to study, Claus and Marriott guide the student through the various historical theories and approaches in a balanced, comprehensive and engaging way. Packed with intriguing anecdotes from all periods of history and supported by primary extracts from original historical writings, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice is the student-friendly text which demystifies the subject with clarity and verve.

Key features -

    Written in a clear and witty way.
    Presents a balanced view of the subject, rather than the polemical view of one historian.
    Comprehensive - covers the whole range of topics taught on historiography and historical theory courses in suitable depth.
    Full of examples from different historical approaches - from social, cultural and political history to gender, economic and world history
    Covers a wide chronological breadth of examples from the ancient and medieval worlds to the twentieth century.
    Shows how students can engage with the theories covered in each chapter and apply them to their own studies via the "In Practice" feature at the end of each chapter.
    Includes "Discussion Documents" - numerous extracts from the primary historiographical texts for students to read and reflect upon.

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About the Author:

Dr Peter Claus is a Senior Research Fellow in History at Pembroke College, Oxford. He has researched and written about social networks, social investigation and cultural forms in the City of London and the wider metropolis in the modern period. His particular commitmenttowidening participation and teaching strategies that use the archive as a way of enthusing students from non-traditional backgrounds has led to a more recent interest in the historical role of education and training in the development of public policy.

Dr John Marriott is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of East London, where he remains involved in the work of the Raphael Samuel History Centre. His research interests are in the nexus between London and empire in the modern era on which he has written widely. Most recently, his Beyond the Tower: a History of East London, published by Yale University Press, appeared in 2011. Last year he emigrated to Yorkshire where he is struggling to restore an early Georgian townhouse.


"A comprehensive introductory guide to the nature of historiography ... clearly written and set out ...it will be welcomed both by teachers and by their students."

Steve Rigby, University of Manchester, UK

"Students (and their teachers) will be grateful for this book. From Herodotus to postmodernism and internet History, Peter Claus and John Marriott's survey of how the human past has been studied and written about is impressive in both its range and its clarity. It can be dipped into when needed, while its totality provides a splendid overview of the richness and diversity that exist within the writing of History."

Bryan Ward-Perkins, Trinity College Oxford, UK

"Claus and Marriott introduce students to different aspects of historiography and methodology in a simple, appealing and engaging manner. This is a good book to support the study of History at university level."

Dr Xavier Guégan, Newcastle University, UK

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